Zip It, Seriously...

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If you are not a parent PLEASE do not give advice on parenting!

For reals people, if you have no experience in the art of trying to figure things out while raising bundles of emotion wrapped in skin, then your opinion is not something I want to hear.

I don’t care if you have a PhD in parenting 101, if you have not participated in raising a child then zip your lip.

If you haven’t walked the walk, this mama doesn’t want to hear you talk.

Raising kids is the single hardest thing I have ever done in my life (and I’ve done some HARD SHIT). I’m a strong, educated, independent female and most days I have no idea what I’m doing when it comes to parenting.

I have three sons who are currently 17, 14 and 11. For the most part, they are growing into decent young men.

However, if you have never had a teenager, then you do not understand that one minute they are your biggest fan, and then you turn around to tell them something and they have morphed into the spawn of satan because you didn’t say it in the right tone.

It’s kinda like a three year old in the body of a man-child.

Super fun.

I kind of understand where people are coming from with the unwarranted parenting advice as I was once a know-it-all about parenting myself.

That was back in the day before the fruit of my loins graced me with their presence.

I remember being pregnant with my oldest and seeing a kid throw a fit in Target.

Leaning over to my friends and saying “MY kid will never behave like THAT!” Ohhhhhhhhhh boy was I wrong.

What a clueless little Judgy McJudgerson I was.

Fast forward a few years and I had a 5 year old, a 3 year old and a newborn in that same Target.

My 3 year old decided to throw the mother of all tantrums.

I had the baby in a snuggly, my 5 year old by my side and a cart full of stuff.

There was my middle kid laying face down on the filthy floor screaming bloody murder.

The baby started to cry and my milk decided to let down so now I’m leaking through my shirt.

People were staring at this glorious scene and I could see the looks of disapproval on their faces and hear the “tsk, tsk” from the grandmas in line at checkstand 5.

If I could have one moment in my life that I disappeared, that would have been it.

I calmly bent down and picked up my kicking, screaming child and placed him in a football carry and the three of us walked out of the store leaving the entire cart of Target treasures behind.

I got all the boys in their car seats and stood outside the car and had a good ugly cry.

I vowed at that moment to NEVER judge another parent for the rest of my life.

Nowadays, the stuff I deal with is mostly related to sassy attitudes, discussions about inappropriate language and behavior and to please (for the love of all things holy) put the freakin toilet seat down.

Just when I think I have this parenting thing figured out, something happens to remind me that I don’t.

The truth is that none of us do. We just love them and do the best we can.

If you’re loving your kids and your intention is for them to grow up to be kind adults then GOOD JOB!!! That’s the best you can do.

That’s the best we can all do.

We definitely deserve a participation trophy for this.

I’m learning to be ok with being a walking ATM machine.

I’m ok with the talks about sex and the importance of respecting women and being a good human being.

I can handle the incessant playing of video games.

But sometimes I do need to just vent and say that my kids totally suck (because occasionally they do).

That is not an open invitation for you to give me your opinion/advice/lecture.

A nice little pat on the back and “it’s gonna be ok”, will suffice.

So next time you see the mama in Target with the brood of crazy toddlers, or the mouthy teenager giving his mama attitude, send them some mental love.

We’re all doing the best we can.